Er­bil with lion’s share of in­vest­ment in 2012

Over $6 bil­lion in­vested in Kur­dis­tan in one year

The Kurdish Globe - - NATIONAL -

Statis­tics avail­able at the Re­search and In­for­ma­tion Of­fice of the Kur­dis­tan Re­gion Board of In­vest­ment showed that more than US$ 6.3 bil­lion had been in­vested in the Re­gion in 2012.

How­ever, this in­vest­ment was dis­trib­uted un­equally among the three prov­inces of the re­gion with Er­bil alone re­ceiv­ing US$ 4.2 bil­lion, with Duhok at­tract­ing US$ 1.4 bil­lion. Sulaimaniya, how­ever, had the small­est share with only US$ 700 mil­lion in in­vest­ment dur­ing the whole of last year.

The to­tal in­vest­ment in- flow into the re­gion fol­low­ing the de­cree of the Re­gion’s in­vest­ment law in mid-2006 has been more than US$ 24 bil­lion. This means that Er­bil has at­tracted one sixth of this en­tire in­vest­ment in 2012 alone, which was twice as large as the in­vest­ment amount of the province in 2011, while the in­vest­ment growth rate dur­ing the same year was more than three times.

There are a num­ber of fac­tors be­hind the fast growth of in­vest­ment in the Er­bil province in com­par­i­son to the rest of the re­gion.

Na­jat Bapir, Di­rec­tor Gen­eral of the In­vest­ment Di­rec­torate of Er­bil, ar­gues that one sig­nif­i­cant fac­tor be­hind this growth was grant­ing li­censes to a num­ber of in­vest­ment projects whose li­censes had been put on hold in the past.

Af­ter the Pres­i­dent of the Kur­dis­tan Re­gion an­nounced a re­form plan in 2011, a num­ber of in­vest­ment li­censes were put on hold and a num­ber of projects were stopped, while le­gal ac­tion was taken against some oth­ers.

Af­ter that and by the end of 2011, part of the au­thor­i­ties of the Board of In­vest­ment were trans­ferred to the In­vest­ment Di­rec­torate Gen­er­als of each province, and since then only the di­rec­torate gen­er­als are au­tho­rized to grant in­vest­ment li­censes in their re­spec­tive prov­inces.

Trans­fer­ring author­ity to the lower lev­els of ad­min­is­tra­tion in the Sev­enth cab­i­net of the Kur­dis­tan Re­gional Government (KRG) as well as ef­forts to min­i­mize the pro­ce­dures as part of a broader pack of ad­min­is­tra­tive changes in the Re­gion’s cap­i­tal, ac­cord­ing to Bapir, were among other fac­tors be­hind the in­vest­ment growth drive in the province. For the time be­ing, in­vest­ment li­censes for res­i­den­tial projects have been put on hold, and Er­bil’s In­vest­ment Di­rec­tor ar­gues that in 2013 they will fo­cus more on in­dus­trial, tourism and agri­cul­tural projects with re­spec­tive pri­or­i­ties. In 2012, in­vest­ment in the hous­ing sec­tor had an 80% share of the province’s en­tire in­vest­ment amount, fol­lowed by the In­dus­trial and tourism sec­tors.

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